From New York City to Niagara Falls, N.Y., hundreds of gay and lesbian couples across the state began marrying on Sunday — the first taking their vows just after midnight — in the culmination of a long battle in the Legislature and a new milestone for gay rights advocates seeking to legalize same-sex marriage across the nation.
Outside the city clerk’s office in Lower Manhattan, an orderly crowd had gathered in sweltering temperatures alongside metal police barriers hours before the doors opened around 8:45 a.m., prompting a cheer. At least one veil was in evidence.
Phyllis Siegel, 76, and Connie Kopelov, 84, who have been together in Manhattan for 23 years, were the first couple in, receiving a waiver from the rule requiring 24 hours between a license and a ceremony. They were ushered right into the chapel. Ms. Kopelov used a gray walker anchored by two tennis balls as they were married by the city clerk, Michael McSweeney.
As Mr. McSweeney declared to the couple, “I now pronounce you married,” Ms. Siegel tenderly held Ms. Kopelov’s head and kissed her on the left cheek. “I am breathless,” said Ms. Siegel.
Check out the video of Phyllis and Connie in the post below. It’s so heartwarming.
I think a lot of people who watch the video will get the same sensation as Chris Quinn:
The City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, who is openly gay, witnessed the first marriages in Manhattan. “To hear a judge say, ‘By the laws of our state’? It sent a chill up my spine,” Ms. Quinn said.